3 Takeaways from the first week of the Cavaliers’ season

Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The start of this Cleveland Cavaliers season has been weirder than Season 2 of Marvel’s Loki. The Cavaliers sit at 1-3 on the year, including three home losses. However, they have not been at full strength for any game so far this season. Just take a look at the injury report prior to their game with the Indiana Pacers last Saturday:

Donovan Mitchell-OUT (Hamstring)

Darius Garland-OUT (Hamstring)

Jarrett Allen-OUT (Ankle)

Ty Jerome-OUT (Ankle)

Ricky Rubio-OUT (Personal)

Four of the Cavs’ top five guards coming into the season were out against the Pacers, including their All-Star backcourt in Mitchell and Garland, who combined for almost 50 points per game last season. Combine that with the absence of Allen on the defensive side, and the steady hand of Jerome and Rubio for the bench, and the Cavs were unbelievably thin in their rotation.

Even for the Oklahoma City Thunder game the night before, they were missing Garland, Allen, and Rubio. Then for their big rematch with the New York Knicks on Tuesday night, the Cavs got Mitchell back, but Caris LeVert was added due to a hamstring injury. As a result, Craig Porter Jr. and Emoni Bates received big minutes. These are two guys that will headline the Cavs’ G-League team this season.

What can we learn despite the injuries?

It has been hard to judge this Cavs team due to them not having their full complement of weapons. Fortunately, there is no need to panic, as there are 78 games left in the regular season. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and the Cavs know that. With that said, there have been things that have stood out from what the Cavs have done on the court in the first week. Here are my three takeaways.